A nightmare neighbour stood in the middle of the street revving a chainsaw after a row with residents about his loud music.
Former oil industry worker Tony Newman had been drinking all day with family members when the bizarre incident happened.
The 53-year-old had bragged to his niece that he could rev the chainsaw in the street and his neighbours would not be able to complain because it was before 10pm.
However, his understanding of the law fell woefully short – and soon officers were on the scene and he was quickly arrested.
Neighbours were ‘concerned about their safety’
Fiscal depute Colin Neilson said the incident unfolded in Johnshaven’s West Street.
He said: “On July 9 2020, the accused’s niece and her partner attended at his home for lunch. Throughout the day and into the evening they were all consuming alcohol.
“At about 9.45pm, the accused made a comment to his niece that he could go into the street with a chainsaw and the neighbours could not complain because it was before 10pm.
“The accused then took a chainsaw that was next to his front door, went into the street, turned the chainsaw on and revved the engine.
“This lasted a short amount of time before the accused switched off the chainsaw and shouted ‘w*****s’ before going back inside his house.
“This was overheard by several neighbours who were in their own homes and became concerned about their safety.
“One neighbour contacted the police.”
About 20 minutes later, when the niece and her partner left Newman’s property, he again took hold of the chainsaw.
Mr Neilson said: “Once outside, he switched on the chainsaw again and revved the engine.
“Police arrived at this time and observed the accused standing outside his front door in possession of a chainsaw.
“On seeing the police, the accused placed the chainsaw at his doorway and walked towards the constables.”
Loud hacking coughs in direction of officer
After being arrested and taken to the Kittybrewster custody suite in Aberdeen Newman inferred to officers that he may have symptoms of Covid-19.
After being put in a cell he began to behave in an “erratic manner” and so an officer attended to speak to him through a hatch and hand him a blanket.
Mr Neilson said: “As the constable was talking to the accused through the hatch, the accused repeatedly coughed loud, hacking coughs in the direction of the constable’s face.
“The constable immediately raised the inspection hatch.”
Newman, of West Street, Johnshaven, admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner over the chainsaw incident, and culpably and recklessly coughing in the face of the police officer after claiming to have symptoms of Covid.
Defence agent Mike Monro said Newman lost his job in the oil industry due to Covid and had been struggling with an alcohol problem and other issues at the time of the offences.
Police took his musical equipment away
He said: “There had been accusations previously by neighbours regarding the accused’s behaviour, particularly with the loudness of music coming from his property.
“The accused is interested in music of all types and he had very expensive equipment costing many thousands of pounds which he used in his property.
“Instead of turning it down, the accused’s behaviour was such that the police used what powers they had to take away his musical equipment.
“This was in the early part of lockdown and the accused had been struggling.”
Mr Monro said on the day in question, conversation had turned to his confiscated equipment, which had “irked” him.
He told the court: “He had this chainsaw for proper, legal reasons.
“He then took it out into the street and turned it on and everyone in the area could hear the deafening noise of the chainsaw. People then were alarmed.
“Things were said to him and he responded in this way.”
Mr Monro went on to say there could be “no justification whatsoever” for Newman’s conduct at the police station.
Sheriff William Summers said the offences were “profoundly troubling” but accepted they were “out of character”.
He handed Newman 12 months supervision, 180 hours of unpaid work and a three-month curfew.